The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has released a CISA Insight on COVID-19 Vaccination Hesitancy within the Critical Infrastructure. It provides guidance that critical infrastructure owners and operators can take to reduce the risk from vaccine hesitancy and encourage vaccine acceptance.
Vaccine hesitancy within the critical infrastructure workforce is a risk to our national critical functions and critical infrastructure companies and operations. COVID-19 outbreaks among critical infrastructure workforces can cause serious disruptions to the daily functions of these industry sectors. Essential workers within phase 1a and 1b populations are especially important since they are public facing and support the functionality of the critical infrastructure.
CISA stresses the role of clear, accurate, reliable and timely information in reducing vaccine hesitancy and the associated risks of low vaccination rates among the critical infrastructure workforce. Critical infrastructure owners and operators are encouraged to become messengers of clear and reliable information about the COVID-19 vaccination program within their workplaces.
Suggested actions include workplace leadership taking the COVID-19 vaccine and ensuring accommodations for workers’ who need time off to get the vaccine, with additional time off for anyone who has significant reactions to the vaccine.
CISA also encourages critical infrastructure owners and operators to utilize the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Essential Workers COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit for additional tools to support effective communication with essential workers about the COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC recommends coordinating with your local health department to provide accurate information about the benefits, safety, side effects and effectiveness of vaccines. Also, have open discussions with your workforce to disseminate the facts and provide opportunities to voice questions and concerns.